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Transatlantic
08-30-2012, 03:04 PM
My character's worked as a bartender in the US and picks up a couple of shifts under the table in Prague at a smallish independent bar/pub.

Can anyone name some workday chores she'd likely be doing when various characters come in to talk to her? I keep having her wiping down the bar, but it can't be THAT filthy! Would she load a dishwasher, maybe? Would it be behind the bar or in a tiny back room or what? Would she restock (a) fridge/s from (a) crate/s? Stick empties in a crate in a back room? Do some sort of paperwork, or something to do with the till?

Also, what would her closing duties be? Chairs on tables, mop floor, trash out, cash in cash box? Anything else?

Many thanks in advance!

EMaree
08-30-2012, 03:13 PM
First things that came to my mind: Restocking the bar fridge, pouring away full drip trays, refilling optics by placing a new bottle over them, putting up signs for the week's offers, and cashing up (at the end of the night or at a shift change). I don't have bar work experience though, so I'm not sure about some of the details here.

Here's a job listing (http://www.wetherspoonjobs.co.uk/home/career/staff-vacancies/bar-staff) for a UK bar job* at a big chain with lots of other duties. From retail work, I can tell you that hourly toilet cleaning is a nasty duty... and I dread to imagine what you find in bars. :(

[*Sorry Transatlantic, didn't spot your location at first! I'm sure you're familiar with Wetherspoons, their pubs are everywhere.]

Transatlantic
08-30-2012, 03:29 PM
Thanks!

Gosh, I hadn't even thought about the toilets. Could be some comic potential there (yes, I have that kind of sense of humour).

And the optic dispensers (a new term for me -- thank you Google!) didn't cross my mind either. I worked in a really small-time, underground bar -- more so than the one my character works in -- years ago, but we didn't have that kind of thing!

I need a broken bottle in a coming scene, and some optic action might come in handy. ETA: Wonderful Internet. You can learn how to do anything on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9vIvfip9Ko)!

shaldna
08-30-2012, 09:46 PM
Can anyone name some workday chores she'd likely be doing when various characters come in to talk to her? I keep having her wiping down the bar, but it can't be THAT filthy! Would she load a dishwasher, maybe? Would it be behind the bar or in a tiny back room or what? Would she restock (a) fridge/s from (a) crate/s? Stick empties in a crate in a back room? Do some sort of paperwork, or something to do with the till?

Okay, when I worked in a bar:

Empty glasses - usually these were collected by the floor staff and taken to the back room for washing, however we had a flat crate at the bar where we loaded the bar top empties for washing.

Stocking - fridges, soft drinks, the optics, fruit, ice etc all needed to be kept stocked all day.

The empty bottles from soft drinks, beer bottles, WKDs etc, were all tossed into 'skips' under the bar - these were wheeled out when full to the back yard where the ones we could return were sorted (such as the coke bottles and the ones for certain beweries) while the rest were put into a glass recycling bin to be collected weekly.

Cleaning - there is no end of cleaning in a bar - seriously. Not just the bar top, but all the counters, around the bottles, drips from optics, spills, breakages etc etc.

If it was quiet and one of us was free we woudl help the floor staff do a sweep of the room to collect empties, empty ashtrays (back when you could smoke indoors here) etc.

Because you can still smoke outside here, the beer garden needed tended to - empties liftes, ashtrays emptied etc.

Some patrons need floor service - perhaps because they aren't physically able to come to the bar, so you would keep going down to check that they had what they needed, take their drinks down etc.

Cleaning glasses - sounds stupid, but seriously, I seemed to spend a huge amount of time polishing glasses - only the wine glasses and flutes though because they were the only ones that didn't get filled all the way, so they were the ones you could see the water markes from the dishwasher on.



Also, what would her closing duties be? Chairs on tables, mop floor, trash out, cash in cash box? Anything else?

We would pull the shutters as soon as we finished serving last orders - the punters could keep on drinking, but we weren't serving any more.

First thing we would do was to print a report off the till and take it, and the till drawer through to the back office/cash office where it would all be counted up and tallied against the till report.

After that we cleared the area - took all the empties to the back, took out the skips, took out the bins.

Then we scrubbed the whole place down - every surface, door, shelf etc. We brushed and mopped the floor in the bar area.

Then we did a check of what needed filling for the next day and topped it up for the early shift.

Once the place had emptied we did a brush and mop job of the main floor, took out all the empties, emptied and cleaned all the ashtrays. Wiped down all the tables - we didn't stack the chairs on tables because they were shaped strangely.

backslashbaby
08-30-2012, 10:03 PM
I wasn't a bartender, exactly, because I was waitstaff, but we were the only acting bartenders there. This was in small Italian and French restaurants, the very homey kind.

On the stocking part, don't forget how much time you can spend cutting up all those cute little drink garnishes. We had to have fresh trays of them, on ice, and then clean and empty the trays at the end of the night.

The ice machine may be far away from the bar, the cartons of creamer are way back in the walk-in, etc, etc. The dishwasher station isn't close to the bar, so everything you'll need has to be carried in by someone. Don't forget the Irish Coffee mugs :)

We also had some wine cellar duty, too, but traditional bars must do their wine differently. Depending on the sort of Prague bar it is, they might have a wine cellar. Just another place to check, grab/sort things from, and clean ;)

Transatlantic
08-31-2012, 02:35 PM
All this is so helpful. Thanks a million! :)